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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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fi                                                              HEEFAOE.
parts of India, yet form the eras, by which the date of all domestic
is ordinarily calculated, and both subjects have therefore been dmly noticed.
But there has been no need to enter much into general history^ for Mathmri
has never been a political centre, except during the short period when it formed
the theatre for the display of the ambitioufe projects of Siiraj Mall mad Ms
immediate successors on the throne of BSwat-pnr. AH its specM interest is
derived from its religious associations in connection with the Yaishnava sect®—
far outnumbering all other Hindu divisions—of whom some took birth here, all
regard it as their Holy Land. Thus, the space devoted to ihe consideration of
the doctrines which they profess and the observances which they practise could
scarcely be curtailed without impairing the fidelity of the sketch by suppression
of the appropriate local colouring. It may also be desiraole to explain that the
long extracts of Hindi poetry from local writers of ihe last two centuries have
been inserted not only as a propos of ihe subject to which they refer, but also
as affording the most unmistakeable proofs of what the language of the country
really is. No such specimens could be given of indigenous Urdu Hterateres
simply because it is non-existent and is as foreign to the people at large as English.
So much irreparable damage has been done in past years from simple
ignorance as io the value of ancient architectural remains, that I have been
careful to describe in full every building in the district which possesses ih0
slightest historical or artistic interest. I have also given a complete resumd of
all the results hitherto obtained in archaeological research among the relics of
an earlier age, and have added a sketch of the development of the local style
of architecture, as it exists at the present day.
Besides noting ihe characteristics of peculiar castes, I have given an
account of the origin and present status of all the principal residents in the
district,, mentioning every particular of any interest connected with their family
history or personal qualifications. Only a few such persons of special repute
will be found included in the general narrative ; the remainder have been
relegated to the more strictly topographical sequel, where they are noticed in
connection with their estates. Upon purely agricultural statistics I touch
very briefly ; all such matters have been most ably discussed by the officer in
charge of the last settlement.                                                                  /
The village lists, which occupied a considerable space in the first and
second editions, have now been omitted in consequence of my inability—here at
Bulandshahr—to obtain the detailed results of the kst census. I believe they
had been found useful by district officials. No one who has not had experience
im matters of ihe Mod can form any idea of the labour and vexation involved in